GTA3 - What kind of video card will run this beast at 1280x1024 32bit without intermittant slowdowns?

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
My friend was going on vacation for a week and he let me borrow his Geforce4 4400.
I have a GeForce2 MX and the game runs okay at the lowest possible settings (640x480 16bit, trails off, view distance minimum, frame sync off, frame limiter on).

I was pleased with the GeForce 4 4400 (overclocked at 295/655) but it seemed to be maxed out when I ran it at 1280x1024 16bit, Max view distance, trails off, frame sync off, frame limiter off. It would still stutter sometimes. It looked great but I was hoping to run at at 1280x1024 32bit, 2x or 4x anti-aliasing, trails on, Max view distance.

What do I need to run this thing at my flat panel's native resolution in 32 bit with AA? I mean I used to run Half-Life with my TNT 16MB at resolutions like 1280x1024 16bit with really good results.

I have a P4 1700Mhz, 256 PC800 RDRAM, 40 GB 7200 RPM, I fully defragmented the partition on which my games reside using Norton Speed Disk in Windows 98 with the option set to optimize for files used during the last day (this puts all my GTA3 files first on that partition).

This game is ridiculous, I assumed that going from a bottom of the barrel GeForce 2 MX (shameful little card that it is) to the latest GeForce 4 4400, I would have the ability to max out everything and use AA. Some have mentioned poor porting by Rockstar (or DMA Designs or whoever). I see benchmarks on these GeForce 4 cards that made me think that we have finally come to a point where the hardware will allow gaming at all reasonable resolutions in 32bit on all current and even future games. I really don't mean to knock the card but it just amazes me that I have a game that I really feel like waiting for new technology to come for (as fast has technology has already come since the debut of my GeForce2 MX). Sorry about the rant but this really puzzles me. I'm wondering if I am the only person with this problem.

More notes: I have tried on both my Win 98 and Win 2000 installations, Win 98 is better than Win 2000 (smoother, less skipping, less slowdown). Both are clean installations done last week Win 98 has GTA3 installed with Power DVD4, Win DVD4, Intel Chipset software, Intel Application Accelerator, Intel Storage Driver, No service packs, IE 5.5, No security updates (yet), No MS-Office. It is intended to be my gaming OS with minimal components.

Win 2000 has more programs as it is my "business" OS, it has MS Office 2000 and a few other minor programs.

I am disclosing all this just to rule out OS inefficiencies etc.

I used both Nvidia drivers versions 28.32 and 29.42.
 

daywalker

Member
Feb 1, 2002
189
0
0
First of all, why so high resolutions? Cant you play on a 1024x768 resoloution? What is the big difference between the 1280x1024 one? Anyway as a first step, LOWER YOUR RESOLUTION.

Second, you need more RAM, certainly 256MB Ram isnt enough. WinXP for instance have improved performance only from 512MB ram and ABOVE. Win2000 is no different. The more RAM you have, the better your system performs. Think of that too.

 

nemo160

Senior member
Jul 16, 2001
339
0
0
daywalker- when he's running under 98 256 may be faster, 98 doesn't deal with 512 mb well at all, and going to 512 would probably require him to buy 2 sticks of 256 rdram and ditch the 256 he has now, not sure how many slots his board has
sxr7171- it seems to me that the engine is poorly optimized for pc, which makes sencse because when software is ported from console to pc they tend to do just enough to get it running on pc but not much to take advantages of the capabilities of pc hardware, because the geforce 4 4400 is in no way a slow card
 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
1280x1024 because that's the native resolution of my flat panel. It makes a big difference to go down from that. It involves upconverting the resolution. I use DVI to maximise video quality as well.

Nemo, good point. I think that's the biggest problem with GTA3 - the porting. So getting a PS2 may be a good solution - at least it will run smoothly. But gaming on PS2 with its poor anti-aliasing and 640x480 interlaced resolution isn't ideal either. These developers and their laziness is terrible. I should just return the game on the grounds of principle.
 

nemo160

Senior member
Jul 16, 2001
339
0
0
i wasn't suggesting getting a ps2, spending that kind of money for one game (even if it is a cool game like gta3) is crazy
maybe eventually they'll get gta 3 patched to the point where its playable and stable on almost all pcs, but who knows for sure
try turning the view distance down a little to try and help the stuttering
 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
I was actually considering getting a PS2 for that game bacause it's so awesome. You're right that it's too much money to waste for just one game though. I'll just wait for a patch or wait for an NV30 or R300 or something.
 

nemo160

Senior member
Jul 16, 2001
339
0
0
try elder scrolls III heroin..err err i mean morrowind if you like rpgs at all
its also a performance hog, but fps is of less importance in an rpg
you'll be addicted enough to that that you won't miss gta 3 that much
a geforce 3 or radeon 8500 or above are required for the full graphical experience though..the water effects they do with vertex and pixel shaders are amazing
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
81
You may already have tried it but I found performance improved tremendously just by applying one of the many no-CD patches for GTA3 available on the net.
GTA3 seems to check unneccessarily often that the CD is still located in the drive, with the no-CD patch enabled I'm able to run it quite easily at 1024x768x16bpp, w/max view distance and anisotropic filtering enabled.

This is on a PIII @ 1157MHz, GF2 Ti @ 300/510, w/ 640MB RAM.
 

wilki24

Member
Feb 27, 2001
194
0
0
I'm currently playing GTA3 @1024x768 32 bit, all settings on max, and I don't experience any frame rate problems or skipping. I did have an issue when using the "Rad 3d" sound option, but any of the others give me flawless silky smooth frame rates.

My system:
AMD XP 1600+ (stock speed)
Soyo Dragon+ m/b
Gainward GF3 ti200 golden sample, overclockable to 220/520 stable
512Mb PC2400 DDR
IBM 60GXP 40gb hdd
Win XP Pro

I'm going to upgrade to a P4 1.6a and o/c it to at least 2.4ghz, and get a Gainward ti4200 to go along with it. I have a feeling that system will be able to crank out an adequate frame rate at 1280x1024x32 max detail. I'd go test it out now, but my 60gxp is in the process of taking a dump on me, so it's getting RMA'd on Monday... performance is horrible as the drive is developing bad sectors :-(
 

Mingon

Diamond Member
Apr 2, 2000
3,012
0
0
Run the card at 32bit, the geforce 3/4 hsr system doesnt work in 16 bit. Also you will be slightly cpu limited, try o/c by 10mhz on the fsb - you should see a big improvement.
 

Pocatello

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,754
2
76
At what resolution GTA3 play with the PS2?
If the PS2 is able to play GTA3 at 1280x1024 without slowdown at all, I would be very impressed.
 

kami

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
17,627
4
81
I run 1024x768x32 perfectly smooth on my rig (see sig), but anything above suffers from LAG...not frame rate problems, but lag :disgust:...they really need a patch out for this game.
At what resolution GTA3 play with the PS2?
If the PS2 is able to play GTA3 at 1280x1024 without slowdown at all, I would be very impressed.
More like 640x480....
 

Tranquility

Member
Apr 14, 2002
75
0
0
GTA3's graphic engine isnt all that impressive anyway so play it at 1024x768 @ 32bit like everybody else. what you need to do is sell your friends GeForce4 4400 and buy a yourself a nice crt monitor :)
 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
Nemo160, thanks for the suggestion on Elder Scrolls III it sounds like a really cool game with the character customization and awesome graphics. I actually like RPGs, the last one I played (quite a while ago) was Grandia II on Dreamcast. I really liked it.


Thanks Rand for the tip, you're right it does work better with the patch.

Mingon, thanks for that piece of info, I had no idea that the HSR system doesn't work in 16 bit, I sort of assumed that I would get better results by going to 16 bit, but it's good to know that I can enjoy the higher quality of 32bit and also get improved performance.

Pocatello, 640x480 as I mentioned in my post. The PS2 wasn't designed for HDTV so it really doesn't have to go above that resolution. Again I said that it wasn't an ideal solution to go to PS2. One thing about console games is that most people can put up with lower resolution compared to computer games since they have bigger TVs than monitors and sit far back enough that it becomes acceptable. I still think that running it at a good high computer resolution is nicer though, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.


Kami, maybe I am confusing LAG with frame rate issues since the slowdown I experience happens mostly when I'm driving. But when I tried to enable AA it certainly was a frame rate issue.

Tranquility, what you need to do is get a nice Flat Panel with DVI, and then try to go back to CRT (as nice as some of them can be). Also, are you implying that even with the latest super-duper GeForce4 graphics cards I need to "play at 1024x768 like everybody else" then that just reinforces my point that I need to wait for new technology to max out this game. I just thought $225 on this card would enable me that luxury but it doesn't.

I really am not knocking the card, it must be those stupid developers that did the most half-a$$ed job they could to get this game out as quickly as possible.
 

VivienM

Senior member
Jun 26, 2001
486
45
91
Originally posted by: sxr7171
Kami, maybe I am confusing LAG with frame rate issues since the slowdown I experience happens mostly when I'm driving. But when I tried to enable AA it certainly was a frame rate issue.

Tranquility, what you need to do is get a nice Flat Panel with DVI, and then try to go back to CRT (as nice as some of them can be). Also, are you implying that even with the latest super-duper GeForce4 graphics cards I need to "play at 1024x768 like everybody else" then that just reinforces my point that I need to wait for new technology to max out this game. I just thought $225 on this card would enable me that luxury but it doesn't.

I really am not knocking the card, it must be those stupid developers that did the most half-a$$ed job they could to get this game out as quickly as possible.
You may want to look into other issues with your rig... I can play GTA3 fine at 1600x1200x32 (that's my LCD's native resolution - I can't make DVI work though, so just VGA for me) except when it rains (then it slows down) on my GF3 Ti500, and a GF4 Ti4400 is a lot better than a GF3 Ti500. I have a friend who has a GF4 Ti4200, and he plays GTA3 just nicely (including in the rain, lucky him) at 1280x1024 on his CRT.

Either that, or it's the max view distance that's the killer. IIRC, I left that at the default... (I've left everything at the default, except changing to 1600x1200x32)
 

kami

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
17,627
4
81
If you left everything else at default that means you have frame limiter on...and you're running at 30fps (blech)...smooth for me is 60fps+
 

VivienM

Senior member
Jun 26, 2001
486
45
91
Originally posted by: kami
If you left everything else at default that means you have frame limiter on...and you're running at 30fps (blech)...smooth for me is 60fps+
Hey, thanks for the tip... I turned off frame limiter, and it's even better now...
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
81
Originally posted by: Pocatello
At what resolution GTA3 play with the PS2?
If the PS2 is able to play GTA3 at 1280x1024 without slowdown at all, I would be very impressed.
The PS2 version uses lower quality textures then the PC version as well. Compare the two side by side, the PC version even at 640x480 looks noticeably better IMHO.
 

Pocatello

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,754
2
76
I'm still confused, why people are saying that GTA3 is optimized for the PS2 when you can only play it at 640x480 without FSAA. I would say that if you PC is able to play GTA3 at 640x480 smoothly (or something higher), then it's no worse than a PS2. It's incredulous to me that people are saying that they shouldhave bought a PS2 since they can't play GTA3 with their PC at 1024x768 (or higher) smoothly, since the PS2 wouldn't be able to either.
 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
Rand, I kind of had the feeling that the PC version used better textures among other improvements.

Kami, I heard someone say that with the frame limiter on you tend to run constantly around 30-32 fps but with it off you tend to run at 60-80 (or whatever your card can handle) but when you hit intensive fighting that the fram rate can drop to the 20s. I tried with it both on and off and since I gave the GeForce 4 4400 back to my friend I can't really test that hypothesis.

VivienM, you must have a real nice 20" or 21" flat panel to have a native 1600x1200, that's got to be real nice to have. One thing I have to say for us Flat Panel users though is the whole pixel response time issue. Most of today's Flat Panels have at best a 30ms pixel response time. So the fastest motion that the panel can show is really around 35 fps anyway. Some new models coming out are going to reduce that to 20ms and 16ms giving around 50fps and 80fps respectively. So all I really need is a good constant 30-35fps to keep things playable. But since you said that you had no trouble doing 1600x1200 on a GeForce3 ti200, I'm going to try a GeForce4 4400 again. Maybe it will be a lot better the second time around.
 

VivienM

Senior member
Jun 26, 2001
486
45
91
Originally posted by: sxr7171

VivienM, you must have a real nice 20" or 21" flat panel to have a native 1600x1200, that's got to be real nice to have. One thing I have to say for us Flat Panel users though is the whole pixel response time issue. Most of today's Flat Panels have at best a 30ms pixel response time. So the fastest motion that the panel can show is really around 35 fps anyway. Some new models coming out are going to reduce that to 20ms and 16ms giving around 50fps and 80fps respectively. So all I really need is a good constant 30-35fps to keep things playable. But since you said that you had no trouble doing 1600x1200 on a GeForce3 ti200, I'm going to try a GeForce4 4400 again. Maybe it will be a lot better the second time around.
Yup, this monitor is majorly nice. 20" ViewSonic; when I got it, the ViewSonic was the only 20" native 1600x1200 LCD I could find on the market. (I could find lots of 1600x1200 22 inchers, but a) that's REALLY pricy, and b) I figured the text was going to be a bit big for my taste) I wanted a 18" initially, but couldn't find any 1600x1200 ones... It bugs me how desktop LCDs are so low-res... I have a 1400x1050 14" laptop, and they make 1600x1200 14" laptops now, but you can't get 1600x1200 desktop LCDs without going to 20".

I have no clue what the pixel response on this monitor is, but it's sure better than my laptop's. (I tried playing UT or something on there, let's just say that it's worthless, even at the lower resolutions) It's played every game I've tried (I'm not a huge gamer, though) very nicely... what bugs me is games like AoE2 that don't have a 1600x1200 setting, because 1280x1024 is a little distorted. I've heard tons of horror stories about games sucking on LCDs, but it hasn't been the case for me; then again, this is a _very_ high-end LCD. Some of the pieces of junk 15" and 17" LCDs I've seen in stores are so bad just looking @ the XP desktop that I don't even WANT to try fancy games on them.

I'm not sure what else to suggest... perhaps get more RAM? (I think you said you have 256 megs... My box has a gig) Oh, and one more thing, I have a Ti500, not Ti200. Dunno how much of a difference it actually makes for performance, though. In any case, it works fine for me, except when it rains. I figure I'd need a GF4 to do 1600x1200 totally flawlessly, but aside from the rain issue it's perfectly fine. As I said, though, default video settings, except frame limiter off (thanks to a prior poster's suggestion) and 1600x1200x32. I'm a bit unwilling to try more tweaking, just because it works fine enough.

Random slightly off-topic question: is it just me, or does EAX Advanced HD (EAX 3) audio in GTA3 eat up a lot more CPU than normal EAX? I have problems with audio quality (stuttering) if I play GTA3 with my regular set of apps open and the EAX3 setting, but set it down to EAX and it works fine.

Now, if I wanted to be masochistic, I should install GTA3 on my old PIII 700 with a TNT2 M64 (it's now my dad's box)... I wonder how if I could even do 640x480 on that thing. Or maybe I should try my Cel. 800MHz with a GF2 MX200 PCI. Somehow, I doubt it could do 1600x1200 :)
 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
The GeForce 3 ti500 is a very nice card and I think is comparable to a GeForce 4 4200 on some games. I've never really had a problem with my 17' panel. I think that as long as you buy a good quality one it's fine for games. I still don't think it's for hardcore gamers who need at least 60 fps though. I didn't really expect to play games when I bought my machine - until GTA3 came out. Now I think I want a GeForce 4 4200.

I think that memory is cheap enough now (even RDRAM) that I should get some more. I can't use EAX3, I think it came out with SB Audigy and I have SB Live Value so it's either EAX or Hardware Accelerated Directsound for me.

Speaking as someone who has a GeForce 2mx, I can say that it will do 1200x1600. At 4 fps though.

One thing though, I close all my apps before I start playing. That means nothing in the system tray either. Thanks for your help.

I'd like to get my hands on a 20" FP one day!
 

SSGTi

Senior member
Jul 23, 2000
473
0
0
Hey guys with my system (see below) I can play gta3 at 1024x768 nicely, but anything higher results in slow downs. If I upgrade my gf2 gts to a gf4 4200 would I be able to play at 1600x1200 on my monitor ?

 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
Okay guys, this whole thing has been my fault all along. Today, after realizing that there is no way I can either A. Play GTA3 with my GeForce2 MX or B. Sit here with the game installed on my machine and not play it. So I picked up a GeForce 4 4400. I had the same problems I described before. Then I read a very informative post on this board about overclocking the 4400.

Someone mentioned that clocking the memory above 608Mhz actually decreased performance. I was running at around 650-655 the whole time. I set it to exactly 608 and it ran perfectly at 1024x1280 32bit even with trails on, and frame sync on (I wanted to max everything out just to test it). This card really works! I enabled the 4xs AA just to see if it works and it does but it is slow. In any case I don't get intermittant slow downs which are irritating (jerky motion). I have to admit that leaving frame sync on gives it a smooth feel and theres no tearing. This card actually does handle this game very well. It just doesn't handle stupid overclock settings.

Case closed!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY